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Boston College Campus School

Dr. Jan van Dijk Visits Campus School

Boston college campus school

It was an honor for Boston College and Campus School to host Dr. Jan van Dijk, the esteemed international scholar/researcher, who has developed strategies for assessment that consider the processes by which children learn, referred to as Child-Guided Assessment.

dr jan van dijk
(left to right:) Laura Hines, Assistant Program Director; Dr. Susan Bruce;
Dr. Jan van Dijk; and Dr. Don Ricciato, Director.

The process includes the ability to maintain and modulate state, preferred learning channels, ability to learn, memory and anticipation of routines, ability to accommodate new experiences with existing schemes, approach taken to solve problems, ability to form social attachments and interact with others, and communication modes. The van Dijk approach emphasizes that all children can learn, but it is the responsibility of educators and parents to discover how they learn best.

Dr. van Dijk was invited to Boston College by Dr. Susan Bruce, faculty coordinator of the Graduate Studies Program in Severe Special Needs and Deafblind Education, as well as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired at Campus School.

  dr jan van dijk with abby
Dr. van Dijk with Campus School
student Abby and her mom
  dr jan van dijk with lyndsey
Dr. van Dijk and Lyndsey

On March 26, Dr. van Dijk presented on “The Role of the Limbic System in Children with Sensory Impairment.” He emphasized that knowledge of the subject and memory of experiences play an important role in efficient processing of information. Dr. van Dijk also emphasized the impact this would have on children with sensory impairments. He discussed the role of emotions in children and how sensory input is strongly linked to emotion, which plays an important role in attachment behavior.

On March 27, Dr. van Dijk performed an arena assessment on two Campus School students, during which Campus School staff could observe his techniques. All who attended his presentations were the beneficiaries of Dr. van Dijk’s insights and experiences, and will subsequently be able to enrich their own instructional practices.